Caravanning Through the Eisenhower Gala

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Caravanning Through the Eisenhower Gala

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I try to attend the Eisenhower Gala every year. It is scheduled for the Saturday nearest to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s birthday. During the first year of the corona lockdown, in 2020, we got together to celebrate Ike’s birthday without the Gala. We caravanned around Abilene to different places of significance in young Dwight’s life with Mary Jean Eisenhower, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s granddaughter explaining the significant place to Ike’s life. We went to the fairgrounds where Ike announced his candidacy for President. We went to a historical building where Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower watched a parade to honor him. The building is now apartments for folks of modest means that, somehow, seems fitting. I’m confident Ike wished everyone well and to be happy. We went to the cemetery where Dwight’s father, Jacob, and mother, Ida, were buried. I was struck by how modest the graves were. I thought Eisenhower’s lived modestly like us. The tour finished at Ike’s favorite restaurant in Abilene, the Farmhouse Restaurant, where we had an excellent dinner. Though there was no Gala dinner with elegantly clad ladies and gentlemen enthusiastically lost in gregarious conversation, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting all the historical places of significance in young Ike’s life. The 2020 Eisenhower birthday celebration was once educational and engaging.

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This item was submitted on January 21, 2023 by William L. Weeks using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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